Personal Confidence

Built as an incredibly strong rebounder, who can head-fake, drop step, or hit a turn around jumper, the power forward is known to set powerful screens and protects his territory on the hardwood. A great power forward can shut down his opponent on the defensive end, and when it comes to putting points on the board, your number four spot on the floor can score at will. For Cedar High, Ben Brinkerhoff sits at that number four spot and sets the tone for his team and the rest of the Redmen.

Cedar High Class of 2016 Basketball 3.5GPA

As the oldest of five boys with younger brothers ranging from 6-15, Ben knows he has the responsibility to set an example at home for them to follow. Spending time with his brothers is important to him as well. Speaking specifically about his 13 yr old brother, Seth, he states, “We go play together sometimes, and I even take him out lifting with me.”

Even before the season begins, Brinkerhoff makes sure to hit the gym in the morning three days a week with fellow teammates to work on shooting drills. However, the training does not end there. “We lift weights four days a week after school for an hour plus each day.” Remembering not to forget his conditioning, Ben says, “We run sprints on the track on our off day and open gym/practice every night for a couple of hours.”

Making sure to take college concurrent courses, Ben understands the value of a good education and sees no reason to put things off. “I need to take the courses anyway, so I thought might as well get the college credit and get it knocked out early. I took math 1010 and Nutrition 1020 because I’m really interested in that as well.”

Commenting about her son’s interest in nutrition Jennifer Brinkerhoff states, “It really plays into who he is. He eats healthy and is always working out so he always wants to learn what is good for his body. Taking Nutrition is a great way to learn that.”

With an interest in the medical field or emergency response, Ben has developed a real sense of maintaining his health. For entertainment, he will usually be doing some kind of physical activity, which incidentally makes the young man even stronger. “I really like lifting weights a lot or going swimming with my friends,” he says. “It is fun, and something I’ve always enjoyed doing.”

Ben recalls a memorable game against Hurricane as a freshman. He and his fellow Redmen were down by three points against the Tigers with eight seconds left. “We were down and Coach drew up a play to get a three. We ran it and it didn’t work, but I got the rebound and put it right back up to get it off and it went in for a three to tie.” He continues, “So with three seconds left we full court pressed. We pick off the inbound pass then they threw the ball back to me, and I hit a three at the buzzer.”

“It was a real fun game to watch too,” says Jennifer. “He hit two threes in eight seconds to win the game. It was really fun.”

“I have learned, because of my coaches, to work hard. I think that is the biggest thing, in every part of life.”

Compare the excitement of his two threes against Hurricane as a freshman with an injury as a sophomore the following year, and you learn about the young man’s character. “I hurt my foot. I was having problems with it, so I had to rehab it to get back in a couple weeks. On the first game back, I had a high ankle sprain within the first couple minutes of the game. Compared to previous injuries to my ACL that I’ve had, the high ankle sprain was ten times worse.” Not wanting a high ankle sprain to keep him out, the young man taped it up and was ready to play the following game. “It was real tough. I never got it back to 100% that year, but I was going to play.”

It is said the company you keep determines the type of person you become. Ben didn’t have to look too far for someone to pattern his game and work ethic after. The Cedar Redmen provided one of their own as a solid mentor for the up-and-coming power forward. “I had a cousin, Jaren Forsyth, who played for Cedar and I learned a lot from watching him play. He was real scrappy when he played, and I liked that. I would practice with him and remember how physical and tough he was in the post. I’ve tried to use some of his same style of play.”

Not one for trash talk, Ben appreciates that he can be competitive and play physically strong basketball throughout the region, yet still maintain the friendships he has made on competing squads. “I get nervous watching him play though,” says his mom. “He has had so many injuries; I just want him to do well. Seeing the bad games where he comes home defeated, versus the good games where he comes home full of confidence and excitement, you can’t help but want more of that for him. To me, it’s not about the score. It’s more about watching him, and the character the sport is building in him, win or lose. It’s what I see happening inside of him through the game that is most important to me.”

“I have learned, because of my coaches, to work hard. I think that is the biggest thing in every part of life.” With aspirations to serve our country in the military, Ben is leaning towards the Marines as the branch he would most likely choose. Not one to shy away from difficulty, you ask the young man why the Marines, he answers, “It’s the hardest. The plan is to do all of my basic training then go on an LDS Mission. Then, when I come back, I will see where I go from there with the military.”

As for the legacy he hopes to leave behind in his final year as a member of the Redmen, Ben again looks to mentors. “The guys I looked to as mentors…they just worked hard. They were physical. They played hard all of the time, and they did their job. They had great attitudes and were good teammates, so I feel they were well balanced in all of those areas. That is what I want to model myself after; that’s the legacy I would like to leave behind as well.”

It is not too often that one runs into such a deep sense of personal confidence. “When he sets his mind to something,” says his mom, “there is no stopping him.”

Knowing this will be the last time he will wear the crimson and gold, Ben speaks of what he expects out of his final season and its outcome, “We are going to play hard and do what we know we can do. The State Tournament is at SUU, and we are going to be there.” • HSSI